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How much do we need to know about every customer experience?

Experts Don Peppers and Martha Rogers answer a question about the importance of knowing your customer's past experiences when building a relationship.

How can you build a relationship with your customers (CRM) without knowing their experiences (CEM) with a product or service at each and every point in their experience lifecycle? Doesn't the voice of the customer (CEM) add to the sales, marketing and call center strategy to help increase the relationships with customers?
Yes, I do believe you need to know what your customer is experiencing with your brand or product, and the service associated with it, in order to build a stronger relationship. There is no way to know everything, but you need to know enough to be able to draw general conclusions about the customer's motivation and need in buying from you.

Most companies focus the majority of their customer-differentiation efforts on understanding customers' values – most valuable customers, least valuable, etc. But that is only half the battle. A customer's value profile (i.e., is this a customer you should try to retain, or grow, or cut costs on) will be important in setting your objective, but you can only reach your objective by understanding what it is that motivates the customer to act. You won't ever change a customer's behavior unless you have the customer's perspective in mind, and that means understanding as many details of the customer's own experience as possible.


Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.
This was last published in October 2007

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